Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tiramisu Overnight Oatmeal

The Thursday before my birthday, my friend and I were out and about in Manhattan enjoying some good eats. After some delightful vegan soul food at Red Bamboo, we moved on to Peacefood Cafe on 11th St. The dinner food is great there, but I particularly love their desserts. VEGAN. TIRAMISU. I didn't see it coming, but their vegan tiramisu was infinitely better than any tiramisu (vegan or not) I've ever had. The cream portion was unbelievable and I have no idea what it was made of.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Oatmeal Woes: Scorching Milk

I've received three comments in the past month about milk scorching while cooking oatmeal--oh no! Although this is not something I experience regularly, it has happened to me a handful of times in the past few years. Many different factors cause scorching, and often, it's a combination of two or more of these factors; however, I'm going to treat each factor as if it's acting on its own and how to fix it.

Factor #1 - Using Cow's Milk

The only times I've truly scorched my milk was back when I used cow's milk. Cow's milk scorches unannoyingly fast, especially when you're used to using almond or soy milk.

  1. Turn the heat down (never more than a simmer) and stir frequently.
  2. Switch to a nondairy milk.
  3. Cook the oats in water and stir in the milk at the end (when serving).
Factor #2 - Using Low-Quality Cookware

No judgment, I promise! When I moved into my first apartment during college, my mom bought us a "good enough for now" set of pots and pans from Walmart. To put this into perspective, it was about 6 pots and pans...for $20. They were incredibly thin and would burn the bottom of everything. Similarly, when I moved to Newark, my roommate used stainless steel cookware, and they were so hot that they would boil on low. Oatmeal in that environment doesn't stand a chance.

  1. Turn the heat down (never more than a simmer) and stir frequently
  2. Invest in one sturdy, nonstick saucepan if your budget allows it. :)
Factor #3 - Using a Gas Stove

I learned how to make oatmeal on an electric stove, which had much more controlled heat. When I moved to Newark and switched to a gas stove, I was shocked by how different it was. At medium heat, my almond milk would be at a roaring boil in just a minute or two. On the other hand, when I returned to my parents' house (who have a glass-top stove), it would take almost five minutes for the almond milk to even simmer. In other words, the stove you're using makes a massive difference.

  1. Turn the heat down (never more than a simmer) and stir frequently.
  2. Avoid low-quality and stainless steel pots and pans.
Factor #4 - Overcooking

We've all done it. You walked away from the stove, spent too much time picking today's outfit or doing your hair, and came back to a dried up oatmeal that's burnt at the bottom.

  1. Turn the heat down (never more than a simmer) and stir frequently.
  2. Don't leave your oatmeal for more than a minute. :)

**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blackberry Lime Cheesecake Oatmeal

There are two aspects of this recipe that I'm proud of:

1) It includes blackberries. The last time I had blackberries, I thought I didn't actually like them that much.
2) It includes nondairy cream cheese. The last time I had nondairy cream cheese, I thought I didn't actually like it that much. ;)

As it turns out, blackberries are delicious. Before, I found them annoyingly seedy. I didn't have that problem at all this time! There were only a couple seeds, and they were smaller and less obtrusive. As for the nondairy cream cheese, I thought it tasted almost exactly like dairy cream cheese--which simply tells you how long it's been since I've had dairy haha.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pineapple Sunbutter Oatmeal

Have you tried sunbutter*? I've always thought that sunbutter was only reserved for the people who can't have peanut butter because of allergies. Nobody chooses to eat sunbutter, right??

*It's a "nut" butter made from sunflower seeds.

My perspective changed last year when I voluntarily purchased a jar of sunbutter from Trader Joe's. Why? It was one of my 10,003 attempts to manage my peanut butter addiction. If I had a crappy version of peanut butter, maybe I wouldn't binge on it...? Wrong. I binged on that sunbutter just as hard as the real deal. Sure, the first spoonful was a little strange, but by the third, I found it just as addicting.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Strawberry White Hot Chocolate Oatmeal

Valentine's Day is coming up. I was contacted recently by the Brilliant Earth Create a Little Love Campaign to join them in...well...creating a little love. :) Brilliant Earth specializes in "honest, ethical" jewelry. It's a perfect option for those of you who are looking into an upcoming engagement (while I simultaneously binge on peanut butter and Buzzfeed quizzes, of course). When I first thought about making a V-Day themed recipe, I had a moment of anxiety. How would I write a post about Valentine's Day? Oh, the horror!

Those who know me personally know that Valentine's Day is my least favorite holiday. I don't feel like getting into the reasons now, but I've always loathed it. In high school, people criticized me for being a cynic and a "hater of love," and--to prove that they were wrong--I began celebrating my own holiday: Hug's Day. When people wished me a "Happy Valentine's Day!", I would respond, "Happy Hug's Day!" I gave out "Happy Hug's Day!" cards and celebrated "Happy Hug's Day!" with my boyfriend at the time. Sadly, it didn't catch on.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Oatmeal Recipes for Salty-Sweet Lovers

Almost an entire three months ago, someone asked me on the train if I preferred salty or sweet (we had been discussing food for several stops). I paused, and then said salty. My roommate/friend/coworker responded, "Really? You seem like you're more of a sweet person. All your oatmeal recipes are sweet." I considered that, and the question has been haunting me since November.

I finally realized that I like both equally. In fact, I'm one of those people that adore salty-sweet combinations. Pretzels dipped in chocolate? YES. Pineapple on my (cheeseless) pizza? YES. Cranberries in my sauteed brussels sprouts? Absolutely. Salt on my oatmeal?


If you're a fan of the salty-sweet combos like me, here are five of my favorite salted oatmeal recipes! Have you tried them all yet?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coconut Sweet Potato Oatmeal

Taking a tip from my Coconut Kiwi Oatmeal, I decided to go for another round of coconut butter. This time, I paired it with sweet potato.

If you haven't noticed, I'm a major fan of sweet potato in oatmeal. I might even like it more than pumpkin. The only reason I don't use it more often is because...well...I'm lazy. Sweet potatoes need to be cooked, and that's annoying. It's always worth it, though.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Baklava Oatmeal

I've had baklava once. Just once.

I was eating lunch with a beloved professor of mine on a visit back to my college town. She had ordered a slice of baklava, and she offered me a bite. I remembered detecting such incredible flavors: the honey, cinnamon, and pistachio. I never had it again, and after going vegan, I didn't think I ever would.

This is far from a flaky phyllo slice of heaven, but the flavors are there. Don't skimp on the cinnamon; trust me, you need the whole teaspoon! As for the banana? It's completely optional. The honey sweetens it enough on its own; the banana just adds nutrition and texture.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Oatmeal Enthusiast: Meet Maria!

I am pleased to introduce you to yet another Oatmeal Enthusiast, Maria. She reached out to me on Twitter, showing me her own blog and some of the oatmeal recipes on it. Her passion for porridge was obvious, so I've added her to the Enthusiast club. Here's how her week of oats turned out.

First and foremost, I would just like to thank Lauren for giving me this opportunity to collaborate with her and be the February Oatmeal Enthusiast. I've been a huge fan and an avid follower of The Oatmeal Artist ever since I discovered the blog, which is well over a year ago now. Back then, I never thought I'd be writing up my own feature for The Oatmeal Artist herself, so it's sort of a dream-come-true for me.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Maria Foran and I am a nineteen year old girl who lives in County Offaly, Ireland. At present, I am under-going a horse-riding instructor coaching course through Horse Sport Ireland and I should have my Level 1 qualification by the end of summer 2014. I then plan to complete a Personal Fitness Trainer course through Image Fitness, as my next venture. I also run my own blog called Breakfast Addiction, and as you may have gathered from the title of my blog, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I not only eat typically breakfast related foods at breakfast time, but often for lunch or dinner too. 

I am very passionate about healthy eating and leading a healthy lifestyle. I choose to lead a dairy free diet and eat only poultry and fish (although I have been considering going Vegan recently). I also consume only wholegrain carbohydrates and avoid added sugar and salt whenever possible. This is for health and performance reasons. On the exercise front, I have a passion for running. I began running back in November of 2012 and have never looked back since. I typically run at least three times a week and usually clock up a distance of between 3 and 5 kilometres each time. As you may have guessed from my current study choices, I also love to ride horses. Although, I don't really count it as high intensity exercise, personally I view it as more of a recreational sport which I do for pleasure. I have my own horse. He is an Irish Draught and his name is Kendwa. 

I have always loved oatmeal ever since I was a child. My favourite way to eat oatmeal back in the day was made on the stove with full fat cow's milk, finished off with about a tablespoon of sugar mixed through it and a big spoonful of sugary raspberry jam piled up in the middle. Not very healthy though, is it?

Since then though, a lot has changed. I became very health conscious when I moved to Australia in 2011 and by the middle of 2012, I had rediscovered oatmeal, in a whole new way. I started off buying the instant microwavable packets (I still remember the flavours; brown sugar and cinnamon or fruits of the forest), but once I realised that they really weren't all that good for a person because of the added sugar, I began buying rolled oats (or old-fashioned oats) and making porridge for myself from scratch, and it's just grown from there! I moved back to Ireland in the middle of 2013, but my love for oatmeal still stays strong. To this day, I still have porridge every single morning, and I don't see that changing any time soon. 

So enough of all that, onto the important part. I've documented a week of my porridge recipes every morning, starting from Friday the 10th of January to Thursday the 16th of January. I started documenting my porridges straight away after Lauren contacted me, so I guess you can say I was a bit excited. I've even thrown in a bit of a 'holiday' themed recipe, since I am the February Oatmeal Enthusiast after all, so I felt I should include a Valentine's Day porridge recipe. 

I hope you all enjoyed my post and maybe some of you might even want to try some of my original and inspired recipes. You will find all of my recipes below, plus loads more on my blog, Breakfast Addiction. Finally, thanks a million, once again, to Lauren for giving me this opportunity. 

Friday 10th January - Chai tea steeped oatmeal

I steeped a Starbucks chai tea bag in boiling water and then let it cool before removing the tea bag and using the room temperature chai tea to cook my porridge in. 

Saturday 11th January - Sweet potato pie oatmeal

I grated a raw sweet potato (leaving the skin on for extra fibre) and added a 1/4 of a cup of it to my porridge along with some sultanas and a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Sunday 12th January - Peanut butter and jelly oatmeal

I made a peanut butter porridge by adding a teaspoon of organic peanut butter (I buy a brand with minimal ingredients and no added sugar) to my regular oatmeal. Then, I finished the porridge off with an additional teaspoon of organic peanut butter and a teaspoon of my home-made no-cooksugar free raspberry jam

Monday 13th January - Cranberry & almond oatmeal 

I added a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg to my regular porridge oats and then topped the oatmeal with a tablespoon each of toasted slivered almonds and dried cranberries. 

Tuesday 14th January - 'The Elvis' oatmeal 

I cooked up my usual porridge oats then garnished it with a sliced banana, a tablespoon of organic peanut butter and a drizzle of honey. This combination of flavours was apparently Elvis' favourite, but in fried sandwich form. 

Wednesday 15th January - Mint chocolate chip oatmeal

I steeped a peppermint tea bag in boiling water and then left it to cool to room temperature before removing the tea bag. I used a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder along with the cooled peppermint tea to cook my porridge. I then topped the porridge off with some chunks of 70% dark chocolate chips. Since vanilla and mint chocolate chip are my all time favourite ice-cream flavours, I appropriately used my cute ice-cream bowl too.  

Thursday 16th January - Valentine's Day pink velvet oatmeal 

I created this 'pink' porridge by cooking the porridge using two tablespoons of my home-made no-cook sugar free raspberry jam. I then topped the porridge off with 'icing' which consisted of a tablespoon of Alpro vanilla soy yoghurt (read my review here) and a few chunks of 70% dark chocolate chips. This was by far my favourite oatmeal I made this week. 

Favourite oatmeal of all time: Its a draw between my interpretation of The Oatmeal Artist's original recipe for pina colada oatmeal...

or my original recipe for poached pear and walnut oatmeal.

[Editor's Note: If you're interested in becoming my next Oatmeal Enthusiast, be sure to show your enthusiasm by tagging your oatmeal pictures with #oatmealartist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Thank you for all your love and support!]
**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blood Orange White Chocolate Oatmeal

Blood oranges are the most mysterious fruit to me. Sometimes, I think I know what flavors it will pair well with; I'm rarely correct. I've had many failed attempts with blood oranges.

This is not one of them.

Not only do the white chocolate chips complement the blood oranges beautifully, but the vanilla bean paste also paired well. I don't normally use vanilla extract in my citrus recipes, but I knew this recipe would need something else. Lo and behold, the vanilla bean paste was the answer.
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